Now that we've defined the equation of a line, let's look at its properties a little more closely. One of the most important elements of a line is its **slope**, or steepness. Figure 1.12 shows a hill (a straight line) that rises steadily at a rate of 50m of vertical “rise” for each 100m of horizontal “run.”

The steepness of this incline is measured by the ratio of its rise to its run, which in this case is 50/100, or 50%. This same hill can be mathematically represented by the linear equation ½x – y = c, as shown in Figure 1.13.

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